• Home & Living

Sunspace Basics: Introduction

Part 1 of Sunspaces.

Everyone living in a home with a sunroom or will tell you that it is the most comfortable room in the house. Many times the homeowner only complaint is that the should be bigger. Although aesthetics often drive the decision to add a to a home design, sunspaces can also provide supplemental space heating and a healthy environment for plants and people. In fact, a well-designed can provide nearly 60% of a home’s winter heating requirements.

Basic elements

In a basic design, passes through glass or other glazing and warms the sunspace. The windows are either vertical or sloped at an angle. To moderate temperature swings, massive materials (such as masonry or water) can be used to store solar thermal energy and absorb heat. At night or during extended periods of cloudy , this “thermal mass” releases the heat it holds in order to heat the interior of the sunspace. Ceilings, walls, foundations and windows insulate the sunspace to minimize at night and in cold weather.

An Investment in Future Enjoyment

Few home improvements offer the aesthetic appeal and practical paybacks as a carefully designed and constructed sunspace. Although you may be tempted to tackle the endeavor on your own, it is money well spent to consult with a solar engineer, architect, or contractor who can provide feedback, as well as a computer analysis of your design. Remember, it is much less expensive to make changes on paper than to alter a sunspace once it is built. And after your sunspace is finished, you can enjoy it for years to come.